Not just following the crowd…

Hi guys, it’s the 15th of September, just a few months until PhD thesis submission, and I want to share some thoughts that are on my mind. These are thoughts which have become prominent as I consider future directions in my life and career, but first let me go back in time a little!

During what was certainly an uncomfortable period in high school, I remember feeling a constant pressure to conform and match the mindset, actions and lifestyles of the majority of kids in the school. I think this is a common feeling in high school; some students strive to be part of the popular crowd, which can have some advantages for them (probably some disadvantages too though). For others, they just want to avoid standing out, and the inevitable harassment and/or bullying this sadly brings. 

Unfortunately for me conformation in high school was a slim possibility, having come from a different (Catholic) primary school, being a “geek”, a ginger, shy around girls, and for part of my school career heavily religious. Oh, it sounds terrible right! My drama teacher once told our class that if red-headed, red-cheeked Jordan was talking to a colleague during a lesson, I would definitely be noticed, whilst other chatterers might get away with it. I don’t think she meant harm by it, but please, think about what you’re saying.

A useful lesson for kids in school. From: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/436356651368606165/

Anyway, that’s history! But if they say school is a microcosm of society, then conforming to the times is definitely an adult trait. Humans rock at just dealing with things, focusing on the good things in our lives, and turning away from the bad. Well maybe in general!! This probably goes a long way to explain our success as a race. But how about if things such as international genocide and climate change don’t need us to do conform, but to vocalize and complain? How about when governments take you so far down a route that you’re not feeling anymore. Most people have criticisms of their work environment, region or government, but lots just say “this is just how it is”. Maybe, but I don’t think its how it has to be! If this blog article can inspire one person to make a Youtube video or write an article about their view on a global issue, I’ll feel I’ve made a good contribution.

And things can change, pretty fast actually! Just think, it wasn’t long ago that most people were totally against gay marriage, but a strong well organised movement eventually resulted in gay marriage becoming legal in America. There was also a time when blacks and whites were kept separate on buses. Yeah. Now look at the possible results of using original thought and not being shy to stand up for what you believe in.

Things can change big time in a relatively short time! Think the black civil rights movement. From: http://www.britannica.com/event/American-civil-rights-movement

In the last few months, Tony Turner, a folk singer who also worked for a Canadian government agency, finally decided he has had it with the direction that Harper is taking Canada in, and wrote a hard-hitting song against him. The wittiness and cleverness of the song was unfortunately not enough to avoid his suspension, but hey, he stood up for what he believed in, and that’s important!!

If you feel strongly against something, there is probably an audience out there which feel the same. You only live once, so make the best mark you can on the world!

Good luck, Jordan xx

 

OK, one last word from a man who’s doing it well:

 

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